So we all returned after Christmas and New Year, having set some intentions, perhaps made the odd resolution or two and bundles of new enthusiasm to make 2020 YOUR year?
But it’s only the 15th January and already you are struggling to maintain Veganuary! Dry January has already become Dry Ginuary and the Gym at 6am every morning is already a distant memory!
Here’s my 10 Lessons to ensure 2020 really is YOUR BEST YEAR YET!
- Decide who you want to be a hero to?
For me, it’s my wife, paying clients and people thinking about becoming clients.
Now there is a notion that you should look up to your Hero! And I’m going to correct that straight away! You should NEVER look up to anyone!
Looking up to someone, is putting them on a pedestal, and that will lead to one day them falling from it! You see, we are only human. We make mistakes. And if someone has put you on a pedestal, not only are they likely to begin to idolise who you are, what you do etc. (Leading in an infatuation, and eventually obsession!) And this is REMOVING identity of self and replacing with that of the person on the pedestal. Its how cults are formed and leads to a lack of confidence or understanding of who YOU are in favour of wanting to be ‘more like them’.
No, rather than look UP to someone. Once you have found your ‘Hero’ – Look INTO them!
Spend time learning more and more about what it is that determines they are your Hero. Establish WHY they are your Hero? What SPECIFICALLY do they do, say, be, in order for you to see them in this way? It might be easier in fact to choose a NUMBER of Hero’s so as not to become at risk of becoming too obsessed with one person!
Now consider what can you do, be, say for others to feel the same about you?
By looking INTO somebody, you learn about their characteristics, their intentions, their priorities, their vision, their values. This enables you to understand exactly WHAT it is that you are enamoured by and helps determine if this is something you can replicate.
2. Be Bold
Preserve the integrity of your business and keep out the moaners, whiners and idiots that may have slipped through the cracks only to then show their true colours.
It was Oscar Wilde who is credited with the quote “The only way to guarantee the future, is to create it” And in business terms, you will NEVER achieve everything YOU want to achieve, far following others. 2020 isn’t just a new year, it’s a new DECADE. It’s time to step out, step up, step forward.
That also means we have to review and consider the influencers within our lives. I’m sure you will all acknowledge that whilst people ‘mean well’ there are some that are currently holding you back. Whether they intend to or not, there are some within your own community (sometimes even within your own family) that are preventing you from achieving all you are capable. It may well not be intentional (although some do it because they simply don’t want others to achieve something they are either incapable of or unwilling to put the effort in to achieve) or they have no real understanding as to what is it your trying to achieve and so unable to help you achieve it.
January every year is a GREAT time for a CULL. Maybe not physically (although I do go through and unsubscribe, from many groups, emails etc) but more that we review what have been the distractions in 2019 that you simply can’t afford to take with you through into 2020.
3. There are 2 faces in your mind
One telling you can’t every achieve it, that you need to ‘calm down and get serious’ the other telling you to ‘grow, take action and evolve’!
Firstly, we have to learn that whilst there will ALWAYS be two voices (If you’d like to learn more about this, I can’t recommend strongly enough the book: Chimp Paradox) However, if you want to embrace it this year. You will need to protect your identity and energy like your life depended on it.
Be ultra-mindful of what and who you watch, read and listen to. Get good at catching yourself out – wasting time and doing stupid stuff that isn’t ‘on point’ and within your plan. I refer to it as SOS (Not in the Morse code Save Our Souls) but the Shiny Object Syndrome – the stuff that we fall into doing that’s NOT taking you forward, preventing you from achieving more than you have already.
It is only once we accept that true happiness comes from self-control and discipline, beating on your craft every single day, taking small and steady steps forward and seeing the improvement within ourselves.
4. What got you to where you are now in life/business will kill you and or your business moving forward
It really is just that simply.
If you want a different outcome in 2020, it starts with learning to thinking differently, and then doing differently.
Whether we like it or not, what got you here, may well NOT be enough to get you where you want to be! One of the first ways to determine this is trajectory!
Look at the amount of time and effort you have been applying, and the results this has returned to you. Now look at what you WANT to achieve, and the timeframe you have allowed yourself to do so. How big is the GAP?
I can almost guarantee (and I’ve been doing this with clients all over the world for the past decade) there is ALWAYS a GAP and its often FAR more substantial than the progress made to date!
It is only once we accept that to achieve a different outcome to the one we are in RIGHT NOW, we HAVE to both THINK and ACT differently.
If we then accept that “We don’t know, WHAT we don’t know” then we might also have to accept that to achieve a different outcome, to do different things, to THINK different thoughts, we MIGHT have to put ourselves in a different environment, with different people and learn different things, in order to subsequently achieve different outcomes!
5. Don’t feel guilty for delegating work
It will put you in a stronger position and allow you to lead a more inspiring life.
“Until you have an employee,…….you are one”
It’s bold, it’s harsh but it’s true.
The fact is, despite wanting to consider yourself an Entrepreneur, until you have at least one person (Although I DON’T think that’s the right answer also) you are actually SELF EMPLOYED! And whilst there is nothing wrong with being self employed, it also means (more often than not) that when YOU stop so does the income!
I’ve written A LOT about TIME MANAGEMENT for Entrepreneurs (if you’ve not yet completed my Time Management for Entrepreneurs exercise, head to www.mytruenorth.club (sign up for free) and grab yourself a copy now. I ASSURE you it will find you more time AND help you with along that journey towards moving from an employee to an employer!
Delegation (when done well) is both empowering FOR the person you have delegated to whilst freeing you up to concentrate on working ON the business not always IN the business.
We first have to determine WHICH tasks SHOULD be delegated and then WHO is the right person(s) to delegate to? Both of these deserve careful consideration, as getting it right is liberating, whilst getting it wrong can cost you everything you have worked for!
6. Build a team of trusted advisors to help you make better and quicker decisions
Hire and trust people on their walk, NOT their talk!
This ISN’T your family OR your friends. I guarantee you, whilst we consciously DON’T think this, subconsciously you only approach someone to advise you, with whom you THINK is going to give you the advice you have already told yourself is the right advice, and with whom will support you and your idea’s.
Why would you ever go to (or return to) someone that DIDN’T support your idea’s…right?
My first (of many) questions would be: Are they FULLY aware of your goals, ambitions, dreams, and desires? Do they know you and your business? Your motivators and your drivers? Do they know what you have already done, and the results it has had? And do they KNOW that the advice they are giving is going to CLOSR THE GAP?
Until you can say with confidence YES to ALL those, then perhaps my theory about who you are taking advice from is true!
I have worked with hundreds (if not thousands) of business owners, and truly believe there are 5 KEY ADVISORS that EVERY business owner needs within their team. Without these you are most likely to either HIT A CEILING or risk smashing through it only with devastating consequences as a result!
There is a GREAT expression I remain most grateful to have been taught early within my Entrepreneurial journey “The most EXPENSIVE advice, is that given for free!”
7. Stop comparing yourself to anyone other than your former self!
The main reason people get anxious about making more money is because you’re comparing yourself to someone else and losing track of what’s important to you. I know, for the first 10 years of being in business, it’s EXACTLY what I did, with some very poor outcomes!
Your goal ISN’T to build a 6 or 7-figure business overnight. It IS to become a better human being. The better you become. The bigger impact you have, on more and more people, the more the rewards will come.
MONEY is NOT the goal. More money is NOT the goal. IMPACT should be the goal! Simply by understanding that MONEY loves to play the game CHACE. The more you chase it, the more it will continue to evade capture as it plays chase with you. Learn instead to make you goal IMPACT and money gets bored of NOT being chased, and simply comes to find you!
8. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-rested mind
You’ll make better decisions in life and business. Every now and again, shut down the machines, disconnect and re-charge. Don’t feel guilty for taking time out. Sharpen the axe, there is much work still to be done.
I cannot tell you the impact THIS lesson has had on me in the past decade. The more time I take OFF work, the more work gets done! The more I reward myself with time OUT of the business, the more effective I am IN business.
It was Tim Ferris and his book: Four Hour Work Week that first sparked my interest into TIME FREEDOM. It is NOT only something the super wealthy can achieve, or something you have to set yourself as a distant goal. EVERYBODY on the planet has 168 hours a week – PERIOD! It is down to you, to determine HOW you spend those hours.
For as long as manuscript has been around, and regardless of which religion you may have been brought up around. There is ALWAYS those who talk about time spent at work, time spent in prayer (or mediation) and time spent at rest.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to take some time off. Not just because it’s Christmas and everyone is off, but because you can. Throughout 2020 I want you to start treating YOURSELF the same as you do your most valuable client. (If not even more so). Time spent reading (or listening to podcasts) is VALUABLE to both you and the business, and shouldn’t only be done “When you have time” or “Between appointments”. Going to the Gym is vital for both you, your fitness and the businesses future, so ALLOCATE time to attend frequently and MAKE the appointment. Eating the right foods is CRUCIAL to both your health AND your wealth. Failing to eat the right things (and at the right times) is currently DAMAGING you AND your business. The impact of a poor, unscheduled diet is FAR more reaching to the business than perhaps you currently give consideration.
I’ve chosen to go VEGETARIAN for the month of January, and then predominantly PESCITARIAN for the remainder of the year. Furthermore, I’m also going to abstain alcohol for 2020 as I become even more lazer focused on our mission.
9. Try something NEW
I’ve already stated within these lessons, 2020 isn’t just a new year, it’s a new decade. There has NEVER been a better time that to try something new.
Whether that’s sign up for a class at the Gym, or learn to play an instrument or learn a new language. It’s not so much about WHAT you do, it’s about learning that the only constant in life is change. And to create change within our business, we may first have to create change in our life. Learning to embrace it, will ultimately help us create more of it. And regardless of how fearful we are of change. Understanding and accepting that to create different outcomes, we have to first do different things, and that involves thinking differently also.
A different environment, different people, different activities, thoughts, suggestions, challenges, considerations are all part of getting our DIFFERENT brain in gear, to deliver the most amazing new experiences.
On the 19th September 2019 I married the girl of my dreams. Someone I know now I was destined to meet, and when I did, knew within 20 mins or so she was THE ONE! However, having just met her, I knew nothing of her circumstances, her background, her life. I hadn’t been aware, she had also come out of previous relationship, and had chosen NOT to enter into another but instead to re-engage with her desire for team sports. And yet, through this had met and built a really strong team of close friends, one of which had spoken to her about a book she had just finished reading entitled “JUST SAY YES”.
The friend challenged her to say YES to the next 3 things that came up. And the very next day, I approached her and asked if we could go on a date!
10. Be grateful for the opportunity each day brings… the good, bad AND the ugly
Learn to see the other side of situations. To unpick each and every experience, and to look at it from various perspectives.
It was Einstein who is noted as having exclaimed:
“You will never overcome any problem, using the same level of thinking, as that which caused it in the first place”
We therefore HAVE to learn to dissect each problem, each hurdle, each set of circumstances we are presented with, look at it from various different angles and viewpoints in order to find the solution. (Ironically, that is what Napoleon Hill turned into what we now know to be a mastermind)
Only by doing so will you find inside the ugly stuff are your biggest lessons, which in turn become your biggest blessing.
There is an exceptional motivational video from JOCKO (an ex American Marine) entitled GOOD, in which he continually finds the silver lining in every grey cloud.
You see, life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. Some are really obvious, but many more less so. Unless we are continually looking at life as a series of lessons, we often fail to acknowledge they are, and prevents us from learning ‘life’s lessons’. This in turn often deems we don’t learn from them, and find ourselves being presented with the lesson again and again and again! – Different circumstances, same outcome!
It is only once we can learn from each lesson, that ‘life’ allows the journey to continue and move onto the next lesson!
It was Einstein who is also reported to have said
“Everyone should make many mistakes, only a fool makes the same one twice!”
Certainly within my own research into more than 150 Business Failures did I learn MANY lessons (You can ALWAYS learn more from failure, than you ever will from success) and it is from these lessons that we were able to create the #ADDAZERO Business Challenge and made it our mission to help, support, guide and hold to account more than 100,000 Business Owners dedicated to significantly and sustainably grow both them and their businesses with the aim to #ADDAZERO to their personal disposable income.
I remain enormously grateful for the lessons I have learnt. From being medically discharged from the British Army, to being divorced by my ex-wife. From my own battles with Mental Health to being made redundant from my last salaried job. I am grateful for ALL these experiences, that have led me to become the person I am today. For these have all had an impact in shaping me into the man I am today, and for that I am eternally grateful.